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  • An application for financial remedies, following divorce proceedings. The couple married in 2000 and they separated in 2017. They had two daughters, aged 8 and 3. Mr Nicholas Cusworth QC (sitting as a deputy High Court judge) stated that the single most important dispute between the parties was over the value of the husband's interest in a company focused on proprietary trading and market making. He took the husband's shares to have a gross value of £43.4m and a net value of £35.3m, assuming a realisation at CGT rates. He found that a fair spread of the husband's liability would be for him to pay £2,787,595 in 2020, £5m in 2021, a further £5m in 2022, and then a final payment of £4m in 2023. He would be able to withdraw those sums from his interest in the business with no more than proportionate disruption to the company, when balanced against the desirability of providing the wife's award to her and achieving a clean break as soon as practicable. Judgment, 25/06/2020, free
  • The couple used to run a shipping business together, but were now in the midst of a bitter divorce. The wife had obtained a freezing order to prevent the disposal or charging of four vessels operated within that business. Her case was that she and the husband were entitled to beneficial interests in shares in the companies which owned the vessels. The freezing order had been discharged on appeal, and then reinstated pending this appeal by the wife. The appeal was allowed by Males, Moylan and Phillips LJJ and the freezing order would continue, but on the terms set out in the schedule to the judgment, which would allow one of the vessels to be sold, or for vessels to be charged as security for a loan. If nothing had been done, there was a risk that the vessels would have had to be sold for no more than scrap value, which would not have been in the wife's interests. Judgment, 18/06/2020, free
  • In proceedings for the enforcement of an ancillary relief award, the wife had made an application for disclosure by the tenth respondent, her son, to whom she claimed monetary assets had been transferred by the husband, and the son had applied for disclosure of her funding arrangements and various documents upon which she relied. Knowles J concluded that the son's counterclaim should be struck out. He had no entitlement to seek any relief in respect of the wife's funding arrangements and had failed to demonstrate that there were legally recognisable grounds for challenging their legality. It was decided that the son should disclose documents containing receipts of $100,000 or more, and various other requests were also to be answered. As to the son's application for disclosure, it did not breach Article 6 for the wife to hold on to irrelevant documents. The son had no need to see documents which the wife's solicitors were satisfied did not contain any personal or financial information relating to him. The son also made an application, unsupported by any witness statement, for a reporting restriction order, with the goal of preventing his personal finances from being made public. The case had generated a good deal of media interest. Knowles J decided that the draft order as it stood would inhibit responsible reporting of the proceedings, but he was persuaded that there should be an order to prevent the son's address and other personal information being included in reports. Judgment, 13/06/2020, free
  • The parties lived together for about 20 years before separating, and had five children together, but never married. This was an application from the female partner for an order that the male partner be sanctioned for multiple breaches of a freezing order. He in turn argued that any breach of the freezing order was inadvertent. It was accepted by both parties that the relevant account was left depleted by the sum of £13,015.94. Cobb J found that the male partner's narrative was "simply implausible", and his explanations "contrived and disingenuous". He had treated the account as his personal account. He had breached the freezing order, and the breaches had been knowing and deliberate. Sanctions would be decided at a subsequent hearing. Judgment, 26/05/2020, free
  • This hearing concerned complex and polarised matrimonial financial proceedings between a husband and wife. She contended that an accountant and/or his various companies owned the ships entirely beneficially for the couple, and that those ships, and the charter fees they generated, were assets falling for appropriate division within the matrimonial financial remedy proceedings. Holman J was not satisfied that there was any real evidence of any deviousness on the part of the accountant or his companies, or any intention by them to try to defeat the claims of the wife. If it was right, as the wife asserted, that the ships were owned beneficially for the couple, then it was in her interests that the current structure remained solvent and afloat. Hence there was no sufficient basis for any injunctions to remain in place, and they were discharged. Judgment, 11/05/2020, free

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